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PA system question

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by muhammadsmith, Nov 29, 2002.

  1. i've heard lots of people laud DI into a PA system as a good option for bass. how big of a PA does a band need to amplify bass AND vocals up to audible volume over, say, a guitar half stack and a reasonably loud drummer for a moderate venue? i was thinking 1000 watts or so. the jury says....?

    oh yeah, and would i need to run subs if i DI'ed bass. or what?
  2. bump

    does this belong in a different forum? it seems like an amplification issue, but, you never know. i had pickup questions in the bass forum before i discovered there was something for that
  3. ESP-LTD


    Sep 9, 2001
    You really can't answer these questions without a LOT more detail.


    How big is the room?
    What kind of music?
    What else is going into the PA?
    How efficient are your PA speakers?
    How many PA speakers are you running?
    Is your PA bia-amped? Tri-amped?

    Even if I had the answers, I couldn't personally give you an authoritative response; not my area.

    I used to play classic rock with a 4 piece; we played LOUD onstage but no half-stacks. We used 3 Mackie 1400's into Peavey 1x12 and 1x15 monitors, SP2's up front (1x15 and a horn) and full-sized 1x18 subs. We used about half of what the Mackie's could push on mains and monitors and 3/4 on the subs. The sound out front was way loud in a medium bar setting (200+ folks) but outside it was only marginal and pretty directional.
  4. rockbassist1087

    rockbassist1087 Guest

    Nov 29, 2002
    Long Island, NY
    My band uses a 200 watt Carvin pa. It works fine. I mean, its not for big clubs, but it works great for practice and house parties.
  5. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    We play outdoor gigs with a single QSC MX1500a biamped to subs and mains. It's putting out somewhere around 500 watts a side in this configuration (4-ohm load on each channel). This is a bit underpowered, theoretically, but we've never had a problem getting plenty of volume. The important thing is that I set the crossover to the subs at about 100 hz. This means that the only things going to the subs are my bass and the kick drum. The subs are a pair of JBL MR 918's and the mains are a pair of JBL MR 835's. We've played to over 300 people with this. It was fine.

    I'd recommend at least 3,000 watts of PA to be safe, 2,000 for the subs and 1,000 for the mains. With that, assuming you have suitable speakers, you wouldn't even need a stage amp, except as a monitor.
  6. The band I play in has a Mackie M808, it has 3 power amps that can run in several different configurations, but we usually run 333 watts per side in stereo (666!) to the mains and then 333 watts to the monitors. I tried the direct out on my Carvin R600 last week and didn't like the sound so I ran a splitter box so I could send the bass signal to both the Carvin and the Mackie's instrument input, to tell you the truth I liked the sound better just plugging my amp straight in to the mackie without a direct box. Seemed like I had less tonal control but much more headroom, it only has a 3 band eq on the channel I was playing thru, but it was clear and well defined. The 600 watts on the mains was plenty for classic rock and blues venues around here so I guess you need to determine whether your going to play clubs or arenas in order to answer your questions...good luck tho....

  7. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    We currently have close to 8000 watts going to the mains, and about 1500 going to monitors. For speakers, we have (4) Peavey SP-4G's, and (4) Peavey 118G subs. We have 5 custom built (OK, homemade) monitors, each with a Carvin 15" and a horn. Yes, we can get fairly loud if we need to.:)
  8. Well you should use subs if you DI the bass. My "A" rig is 7000 watts out front with 4 18" scoops and two 15+2" tops and 2400 watt monitor rig with various combos of wedges. You may not need that much this is just what I use for my sound company. As a sidenote, when you get the PA mic everything even if you don't think something will need it, at least it will be there if you do. Well thats my opinion-
  9. It has been my experience that running through the PA is fine if you are using subs and have the system bi-amped. Playing bass through speakers run full range usually clutters up the vocals. I'm sure that there are systems that can be configured full range that will handle bass too, but, when you bi-amp with subs you move the bass into the subs and leave the vocals alone.

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